Draft minutes for the Meeting on 24 April 2013.
CAPE Estuaries Programme: Implementation of the Estuary Management Plan (EMP) for the Zandvlei Estuary, Muizenberg, Cape Town.
Minutes of the 7th Meeting of the Zandvlei Estuary Management Forum (ZEMF): 18:00, 24th April, 2013, Zandvlei Sports Club/Yacht Club.
ZEMF 7 Minutes ver A 20130503.
Summary of follow-up actions.
1. Welcome and introductions
In response to the Chair’s request to Members to identify positive developments at Zandvlei since the last meeting, the following were put forward:
2. Adoption of the Minutes of the 6th ZEMF Meeting
Similarly, it was suggested that the abbreviations for participant names be included in an additional column in the list of participants.
Adoption of the minutes was then proposed by PdV, seconded by DaG.
3. Matters arising from the Minutes of the 6th ZEMF Meeting
3.1 Meeting on Sewage Spills
There was then some discussion on the matter and it was noted that:
PdV would liaise with JG to arrange a site visit.
3.2 Proposal for financial support
It was noted that the City has funds to support the Advisory Committees for Protected Areas. Since it has been proposed that, in the case of Zandvlei, ZEMF should become the Advisory Committee once the Reserve has been proclaimed under the NEMPA, this is a good option. It was reported that the proclamation is still lying with the Premier’s office, where there is a new law advisor. It was suggested that anyone with relevant contacts should follow up on this matter.
3.3 Letter to Mr. Asmal re Pondweed Issues
3.4 Implementation of the Pondweed Protocol
4. Law Enforcement
JG reported that he had had discussions with SAPS in an attempt to get them to do checks on illegal fishing activities during their regular patrols. They are already coming into the Reserve area.
AP reported that he had had people on duty in the Zandvlei area for a period of 6 weeks from the middle of January. Over this period they had only encountered a few minor problems and had issued a few warnings, but there had been no arrests. They had subsequently had discussions with the Reserve staff and it had been agreed that:
Although there had been problems in terms of getting a response from Law Enforcement, the Compliance Unit had had a briefing with the staff at the Call Centre to ensure they had a good understanding of the relevant issues and would know where they should direct incoming calls to. In some previous cases, the calls had been directed to the Metro Police who, although they have a Rapid Response Unit, respond according to priority, and illegal fishing is not a priority in comparison with eg. murders or housebreaking. This was one of the reasons for the establishment of the Marine and Coastal Compliance Unit and it was noted that although the Metro Police had been involved in the operations of this unit, calls should be channelled through the Unit.
One of the remaining issues is that in order for Law Enforcement to have a successful prosecution, the complainant must be willing to go to court – unless the perpetrator is caught in the act, which is difficult when Law Enforcement responds to a call-out because of the time delay. Photographs – with a date and time stamp - can be used, but only in support of the testimony of the complainant.
In response to a query regarding the possibility of having an sms number to which complaints could be sent – rather than using the call centre number where there is sometimes a delay due to numerous incoming calls – AP indicated that this was not suitable because they cannot respond to anonymous complaints as they could be hoaxes, possibly even to draw officials away from the site of an intended illegal activity. Moreover, in order to lay a charge, they need to have the contact details of the complainant.
The attention of the meeting was drawn to a recent posting on the Facebook page as follows:
BBoy Liam wrote:
” I have been listening to every bit of information regarding zandvlei and two years ago took up my very own research on the vlei and finally I can say tht most of these probitation are crap firstly let's start with zandvlei and what it is, zandvlei is an estaury and all permit holders have the right to fish or use a cast net for certain fish pumping of prawn is legal as there is no law which says u can not pump prawn within an estuary the signs tht are decorating the vlei was put up by the council and wa not issued by the correct authorities or passed as a law for the vlei,now I do not say tht the angelrs or fisherman is innocent but however they get blamed for things which the recreational permit allows , I have conduct studies for two years on the vlei and laws of recreational fishing I will not go into the polution and the other agenders of the vlei as that will be touched on later but this weekend I will be pumping prawn in the vlei and I will be awaiting the local law enforcements to approche me and fine me so tht I may appear in court to prove my point I have spent lots of money getting the research done as well as getting professional marine opinions and reports regarding the vlei and would like to put an end to all of the fish tails”.
There was some discussion over what response there should be to this and it was agreed that there should not be any direct response, but that:
In response to a comment that the current by-law is out of date, this was acknowledged by AP who also noted that i) the fact that it is out of date does not mean that it is no longer in force; and ii) the City is working towards the promulgation of a new by-law.
Discussion then turned to a proposal which had been made at the previous meeting, namely a letter-drop to residents to encourage them to keep a look-out for illegal fishing activities. Neither JG and AP (who were not present at the previous meeting) supported this idea, noting that they already received numerous calls in this vein, many of which were based on erroneous information – for example, responses to calls reporting the catching of baby steenbras frequently found that the fish being caught were in fact mullet, and that the fishermen involved actually had permits. It was stated however, that it was possible that when eg. undersized steenbras had been caught, they were probably being hidden away in the reeds. Officials investigating such complaints should therefore also search the adjacent areas.
Forum Members – and other stakeholders – were requested to continue making reports through the relevant channels (preferably 021 596 1999, but also 107), and to keep details of such calls so that in the case of reports of no response, blockages in the system, or cases of mis-directed calls, could be identified and corrected.
5. Any Other Business
5.1 Telephone numbers
6. Dates and focus for next meeting/s
The next meeting will be on the 29th of May, 2013 at 18:00. The focus will be on the review of the Pondweed Protocol and determining whether sufficient progress has been made to warrant setting a date for the AGM.
List of Attendees at the 6th Meeting of the ZEMF on 27th March 2013.
CAPE Estuaries Programme: Facilitation of the Estuary Management Plan (EMP) for the Zandvlei Estuary,
6th Meeting of the Zandvlei Estuary Management Forum (ZEMF)
18:00 – 20:00 : 27th March, 2013
1. Welcome and introductions, apologies etc.